I became interested in mediation at the time of my own divorce, which was handled through mediation. At the time I was completing my degree in psychology, with an interest in family therapy, and enrolled in a training program for volunteer mediators.
In my time as a volunteer I worked with small claims cases, neighbors, co-workers and families. I saw how subtle changes in wording could create powerful shifts in perspective. I saw how intelligent and thoughtful people can sabotage their own interests by pre-existing patterns of recrimination, and found that effective communication could lead not only to a resolution of the issues but also to greater satisfaction on both sides.
I was struck by the power and potential of mediation to lead to a positive effect. I then became certified as a professional family and divorce mediator.
Different mediators have different styles. Ultimately, mediation is outcome-oriented. At times, however, it is productive to acknowledge the underlying emotions in order to better identify goals and move forward. My approach is to address these issues to the extent that they are relevant to a satisfactory outcome.